Comic books are for children, right? Wrong! With the release of V for Vendetta, Vertigo, a lesser-known branch of DC Comics opens to a wider audience. The Wachowski brothers, the minds behind The Matrix, act as writers and directors for this new futuristic opus.
Set against the backdrop of a futuristic Great Britain, V for Vendetta has a masked vigilante that tries to lead the people towards a revolution. He takes under his wing a young woman with a heavy past, and she becomes his unlikely ally in this tale of political rebellion and violence.
Although the movie starts off as highly promising, the character of the masked hero ultimately ends up to be disappointing. In his first appearance, he engages in a long soliloquy that is as poetic as it is impressive. However, prose soon goes out the window and in walks monotony. The character becomes one-dimensional and the mask soon becomes more creepy than mysterious. Also, the fact that the central character can’t rely on his facial expressions to convey emotions greatly limits the actor in his portrayal.
This movie was greatly inspired by the cult trilogy that the Wachowskis have become famous for. With elaborate action sequences and a fetish for the use of slow-motion in the most exhilarating moments, V for Vendetta could almost be considered a Matrix spin-off. Audiences are left expecting Neo to show up at any time.
Natalie Portman once again delivers a strong performance. She has come a long way since playing Jean Reno’s pupil in 1994’s The Professional. Through the years, she has proven that she is a skilled actress in spite of her young age. She does, however, get lost in her British accent, which seems to come and go from scene to scene.
Hugo Weaving, formerly known as The Matrix’s Agent Smith, delivers a rather static performance, proving the limitations of wearing a mask for the entirety of the movie. Well, at least he can sustain a British accent for over two hours.
Speaking of hours, this movie does seem a little long, running over the two hour mark. But some scenes are truly spectacular, so they make up for the duller moments that make the film seem a little longer than it should be.
V for Vendetta is a different take on the superhero fad that has been going on for some time now. “Remember, remember, the fifth of November.” Well, I don’t know about that particular date, but this movie will surely not be forgotten anytime soon.